EBR Staff Writer Published 01 March 2017

VLC Energy, a joint venture formed by VPI Immingham and renewable investment fund Low Carbon, is set to develop 50MW energy storage projects in the UK.

The joint venture has been set up to fund early stage energy storage and renewable energy projects in the UK to complement VPI Immingham’s existing combined heat and power (CHP) generation.

As part of this effort, VLC Energy initially plans to build two large-scale energy storage plants in Cleator in Cumbria and Glassenbury in Kent, with a combined capacity of 50MW (35MWh).

Planned to be connected to UK’s electricity grid by the end of the year, the two lithium-ion based energy storage projects had won contracts in the National Grid’s Enhanced Frequency Response (EFR) tender process.

Low Carbon CEO Roy Bedlow said: “Renewable energy is playing an increasingly important role in the UK’s energy mix and as this role expands, the development of energy storage plants will be central to the future success of the UK’s energy network.

“Furthermore, by actively building a robust portfolio of renewable energy projects at scale, we are substantively challenging the causes of climate change, while helping to meet the growing demand for renewable energy in the UK.”

The two projects will feature LG Chem lithium batteries and NEC management systems.

VPI Immingham chairman and member of Vitol executive committee Russell Hardy said: “Batteries perfectly complement renewables and gas and together offer a cleaner, more efficient energy future for the UK.”

The two projects are expected to enhance National Grid’s ability to manage surges in supply from renewable energy sources.

They are also expected to provide enhanced frequency response to the UK electricity grid among other services.

Image: Illustration of 40MW battery storage project at Glassenbury, UK. Photo: courtesy of Low Carbon/Business Wire.